National Crime Agency officers working as part of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) have seized a property in the Newtownabbey area valued at £85,000 and £28,000 held in a bank account from a man with alleged links to the West Belfast Ulster Defence Association.
On 19 July 2022, the High Court in Belfast granted a Civil Recovery Order by consent under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 against Steven Armstrong, aged 39, of Newtownabbey, Greater Belfast.
Armstrong is suspected of being engaged in fraud and money laundering offences. The NCA will now work with partners to realise the value of the property and recover the funds held in the bank account under the terms of the Order.
NCA Operations Manager Stephen Brown said:
“This is another example of the NCA using its powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to take action against those suspected of involvement in paramilitary related crime.
“The message to those involved in paramilitary crime is clear – we will use every tool available to us. Where we can identify assets that are the proceeds of crime, we will do all we can to pursue them.”
The NCA, Police Service of Northern Ireland and HM Revenue & Customs established the PCTF to tackle criminality linked to paramilitary activity as part of the Executive's action plan on Tackling Paramilitary Activity, Criminality, and Organised Crime.
PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Kelly said:
“This action demonstrates the strength of the three agencies working together as part of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force and their commitment to tackling the harm inflicted on communities by these individuals and groups."